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Branding Guidelines: WebSearch and AdSense for Search

Revised: March 25, 2024

Introduction

These guidelines apply to the use of Google's WebSearch (WS) and AdSense for Search (AFS).

For clarity, for the purposes of these guidelines:

  • "ads" means advertisements provided by Google. It does not mean any advertisements (or other advertising products or services) that are not provided by Google;
  • "content" means everything presented to users by you, including publisher-generated content, syndicated content, user-generated content, organic search results, advertisements (whether provided by Google or a third party), and links to other sites or apps; and
  • where it has been indicated that Google’s approval is required, such requirement only applies to the use of Google services, including ads provided by Google.

You must ensure that your use of Google services, including any content on properties where Google services are implemented, is in compliance with these guidelines. Google may take corrective action(s) for any non-compliance, including but not limited to the following: (1) suspending provision of any Google services, (2) requiring you to cease or modify the use or implementation of any Google services, or (3) exercising any of its rights under the applicable Google Services Agreement, or any other relevant agreement between you and Google.

Display of search box

The Google search box may appear virtually anywhere on your site. However, there are some specific policies governing its appearance, placement, and use.

  • Any use of Google branding in association with the search box must be in accordance with the requirements of the Use of Google brand features section.
  • The search box may not be pre-populated with a search term.
  • You may not include more than two Google search boxes on any web page.

Display of search results*

To ensure the highest quality product, the content and ordering of Google search results may not be altered.

Any special formatting (e.g., bolding of query terms) received in the feed from Google must be preserved.

*Unless otherwise indicated, “search results” refer both to web search results (results from across the Web) as well as site search results (internal results from your site).

Mandatory and optional elements

You must include certain elements of Google search results, while others are recommended to improve the usability of the Google search results.

  • Mandatory: Result Title, Snippet, Search Result URL
  • Optional: cached link, similar pages link, size and date crawled, description
Example of branding guidelines.

Header

You must display a header above the Google search results, which is clearly associated with the Google search results.

Even if there is no other content or sponsored listings on the page, the header must contain a header labeled "Web Results," "Search Results," "Web Search Results" or similar language subject to approval by Google.

Distinguish from other content

If a page contains any content in addition to Google search results, all content must be labeled in such a way as to enable users to clearly distinguish between Google-provided and non-Google provided content.

This policy applies regardless of whether the other content is comprised of ads (delivered via AdSense for Search or AdSense for Shopping), or non-Google provided sponsored listings or non-Google provided search results.

Display of sponsored listings

General principles

  • Sponsored listings (AFS ads or non-Google provided sponsored listings) must always be clearly identified as separate from Google-provided search results.
  • Sponsored listings (AFS ads or non-Google provided sponsored listings) may not be intermingled with Google-provided search results.
  • Ads may not be intermingled with non-Google provided search results, unless approved by Google in writing.
  • You must include all elements of ads and the full text of the listings.
  • You must preserve the ordering of ads and must not implement ads in a way that could lead to confusion regarding ads position ranking.
  • You may not alter the content or format received in ad response in any way, other than via standard service functionality.
  • Each ad must be shown only once, unless otherwise approved by Google in writing.

Labeling of AFS ads

By default, Google will provide the appropriate label within the AFS ad frame. Where you have been approved to manage your own labeling, these guidelines must be followed to properly identify the ads:

  • Labeling: AFS ads must be clearly labeled as, “Ads by Google,” “Ads,” "Sponsored Links," "Sponsored Listings" or "Paid Listings." Wording other than these is subject to approval by Google.
  • Location: Unless otherwise approved by Google, AFS ad attribution must be displayed in the upper left-hand corner of the ad unit on desktop implementations (for right-to-left languages, upper right-hand corner), and in the upper right-hand or upper left-hand corner of the ad unit on mobile implementations.

Labeling of non-Google sponsored listings

In order to distinguish non-Google sponsored listings from Google-provided search results, such listings must be labeled in a way that clearly identifies their sponsored nature. Examples of acceptable labeling include "Ads" or "Sponsored Links".

Differentiation between ads and results

Ads must always be clearly differentiated from any search results on the page. In addition to clearly and prominently labeling ads, here are some techniques that you can use to differentiate ads from search results:

  • Shading the ad unit background a color that clearly contrasts with the page background color
  • Placing a border around the ad unit
  • Using a strong line between the ad unit and the search results

Use of Google brand features

Use of Google brand features is only permitted in accordance with the requirements of this section.

"enhanced by Google"

Where you meet the requirements of this section, you may add an approved “enhanced by Google” logo to your search boxes and search result pages.

The “enhanced by Google” logo constitutes the only approved use of the Google brand.*

*Google can provide this logo in other languages upon request.

Search results above the fold

On desktop, Google branding may only be used on a site where at least one Google search result is fully visible above the fold (as defined by the visible area of a browser set to a standard font size with a screen resolution of 1366x768) on the search results page.

This requirement applies to the use of Google branding in association with both search boxes and search results pages.

Google attribution on search box

Subject to the requirements above, a site may display Google branding next to the search box if it follows the below guidelines:

  • The "enhanced by Google" attribution should appear adjacent to the search box. On mobile optimized implementations, this attribution may be placed inside the search box.
  • Other placement of Google branding is only permitted with written approval from Google.
  • The Google logo must be clearly legible.

Google attribution on search results pages

The "enhanced by Google" logo must be directly associated with - and only with - the search results provided by Google.

On search result pages that do not contain any publisher or third-party content, display of the “enhanced by Google” logo at the top of the search results page may be appropriate.

On search result pages that contain search results (or other content) that are not provided by Google, the “enhanced by Google” logo must not be used in such a way that users may associate Google’s brand with non-Google provided content. Typically, this will require displaying the logo directly adjacent to the Google-provided search results.

Limitations on use of Google logo

Use of the Google name and logo in conjunction with Google search results must adhere to the following requirements:

  • The Google logo may not appear next to or on the same page as the results of competing web search services.
  • The Google logo may not appear in any selection menu that includes competing web search services, either in text or logo fonts.
  • If Google's logo appears on the page, it may not be the largest logo on the page or presented in a way that creates confusion as to whether the page originates from Google. The page must clearly be identified as belonging to you.
  • You must use the Google logo provided by your account manager.
  • You may not modify the Google logo or use customized versions of the Google logo appearing on Google.com (typically for holidays) or Google brand elements such as the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button.

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